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Raiders Open HL Slate with Victory Over IUPUI

Men’s Basketball | Photo by Arden Reimer | The Wright State Guardian


The Wright State University men’s basketball team returned home after going 2-1 in the Gulf Coast Showcase, defeating IUPUI in its Horizon League opening game. 

A slow start

The Raiders entered Wednesday with a 2-4 overall record, looking to extend an 11-game winning streak over the Jaguars. 

The game started particularly slow for the Raiders on the offensive side, as Wright State did not find a basket through the first three minutes of the game. The slow start, however, would not be an indication of how the rest of the game would go for the Raiders. 

“To start the game, we weren’t very good offensively. It was a slow start,” Head Coach Scott Nagy mentioned. “It’s hard to believe we got to 103 [points], but I thought we did a really good job against the zone.” 

Although the Raiders missed their first six shot attempts on the night, they would close out the first half converting on 20 of their final 29 attempts. 

The Raiders used two separate runs to break the game open through the halfway point, leading 43-28 at the break and shooting over 57% as a unit. 

“We just have a lot of players that can score the ball,” Tanner Holden said. “We have a selfless team, everyone is looking out for one another and playing to each other’s strengths.” 

Second-half explosiveness

The Raiders continued their offensive explosion into the second half, shooting over 65% in the back half of the game. 

Five Raiders reached double figures en route to the 103-74 victory over the Jaguars. 

Holden finished with 26 points on the night, his best performance since dropping 37 points during the 2022 season against Bryant in the First Four round of the NCAA tournament.  

Brandon Noel followed up his dominant performance from the Gulf Coast Showcase that found him on the all-tournament team with a double-double, scoring 17 points while adding 10 rebounds. 

“We’ve got some big, strong guys. We need to use that to our advantage,” Noel stated. 

Trey Calvin, the HL preseason player of the year, added 15 points of his own in the conference opener, and Drey Carter recorded his first double-digit performance with the green and gold, adding 12 points. 

Takeaways and looking ahead

The Raiders’ biggest flaw on the night was the amount of fouls committed against IUPUI. The Jaguars had 36 free throw opportunities, converting on 28. 

“That is an unreal number, and we cannot let that happen,” Noel added. 

The Raider victory was the first 100-point performance since a 103-71 victory over IUPUI last season. The Raiders extended their winning streak on the Jaguars to 12 consecutive games, moving the WSU record to 3-4 on the year. 

WSU traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, after the win to take on the Davidson Wildcats. The Raiders fell 73-82 and will now return home for the next four games to close out the non-conference schedule. 

The Raiders will be back in the Nutter Center to take on Bethel on Thursday at 7 p.m. Viewers can watch the game on ESPN+ or listen on WWSU 106.9 FM. 


Adam Campbell

Sports Reporter

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